Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sixteen....Sweet!


Jared David entered our life 16 years ago.... He and I are similar in many quirky ways. This can be good and can cause a lot of flat foreheads (you know - knocking heads)....but I'm thrilled as I observe the godly man he has become. His passion for God will carry him far....16 is a very nice number. 


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

"These farmers are CRAZY!"

The above is Zander's conclusion.  It appears that the crows have been bothering the farmer's crops. So....




This led us to contemplate how terrible it would be if this farmer had caught Peter Rabbit....or if the kids had been bothering the field....can you imagine a field with baby dolls hung by their toes? ::snort:: 


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

Kaihinkoen (Momoishi Beach)

{From the base - out POL gate, turn left at the Lawsons toward 338....at 338 turn right.....go PAST the Veedol swim beach (with Marlin on the sign), keep going until you see a hwy sign over the road that says "Kaihinkoen" on it....turn left.... basketball hoops, camping spots, beach, picnic areas. }

We had an unexpectedly beautiful day.....warm weather, no rain.

We fed the ponies and walked around the surrounding neighborhood. Zander got bit last time and was a bit nervous today.


It was too cold to swim...but perfect to go Kaihinkoen,  the beach closest to our home. I thought it would be a great day to look for sea glass. We've not gone to this beach since discovered the swimming beach in July. This renews my perspective and refreshes my spirit....both of which needed a little pick me up today. The younger three were game.



Stacia informs me, "DADDY should help you find sea glass!"


It was a practically perfect afternoon. God's still on the throne and displaying His handiwork in Misawa, Japan. Have I said lately how blessed we are by this assignment? ::snort::


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

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Seventeen Porta Squatties

.

Seventeen porta squatties at the Misawa Airshow! These were all over base. 

Nature's Buffet

We joined the Misawa Home Educators today for a trip to Nanbu. Once we reached the town we split into a couple of groups; which probably made for an easier time getting to know new folks, I would think. 


Four of the families made the trip out to pick apples, grapes and peaches. The rest bought their fruit at a fruit stand and went to a park.


This was fun! Totally not what I expected. In America when you go "apple picking" or what not, you pick as many as you want and pay for them. You take them home and dehydrate, can, or freeze your bounty. Not so in Japan.  It was nature's buffet!!!! We paid Y500 per adult, Y300 per child. We were then allowed into the orchards and able to pick and eat all we could. I've heard they don't let you take produce home...but our farmer was great. He really understood English and loved our attempts at Japanese. He sells produce too...so we were able to buy some to bring home.....If I can find a local store with apples that taste this good the produce consumption around here would increase.

First, we picked and ate and ate and ate.....Aomori and Nanbu specifically are famous for their apples. YUMMMMM the best apples we've had in a long time. We can't wait to take Michael back. 

Tsugaru Ringo

Budo (sour)

Nashi (Pear - wonderful - seems sort of like a cross between and apple and a pear)

It's common to see these little bags around apples and pears on trees. These are the ones that are "perfect" and being groomed to be sold in their little padded boxes for gifts. 

The farmer was wonderful. Jared determined to stay in the parking lot as he couldn't maneuver the orchard trails on crutches. This was NOT flat land with rows of trees...grape harbors and trees marched down a steep slope. The farmer gave Jared a ride down in his truck.  He was a blast to talk to.


He gave me the Japanese name of an apple that he says will work good in pies...and he wrote it in katakana so I can show it too the grocers. LOL 


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

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Eighteen


I discovered 18 water bottles in the fridge when I cleaned it out. I know we need to stay well hydrated; but this is overkill. Now that summer and football are over, I limited it to one bottle per person....


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

Monday, September 27, 2010

Nineteen!!!!!!!


Nineteen year old Jamin is the child who caused me to repent of thinking I had parenting figured out - and chased me to the face of God to learn  many lasting lessons in faith and parenting.  This kid who "would never learn to read unless you get him on meds".....blesses me. He reads, he writes, he cleans, he works, he runs......he loves his largish family and we love him.  Jamin is a Sophomore this year at Angelo State University.  He chose to stay in San Angelo and share an apartment with Josiah. We're glad. I'm not sure he's settled on a major.....need to ask him about that. ::grin:: 


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

My 1.7 Seconds with a Famous Person - Michael

We have had more than our fair share of famous people come through here.  We have had Representatives from Congress (lots of them, actually), Senators (yup, lots of them, as well), heads of state (there are over 45 nations represented on the compound), and a few famous and infamous media reporters (Oliver North and that guy from the Rolling Stones).  Sparsely scattered in their midst are a few entertainers.  One such visitor was Nathalie Cole, daughter of the late Nat King Cole.  She came to sing a few songs, promote a movie, and get her picture taken with me.  I was glad to help out.  It took much more time to walk up and turn to face the camera than the actual staging of the photo.  It could not have been much more than 1.7 seconds in total.  After all, there were about a hundred other folks lined up to get their photo with her, too.  So there it is, my moment with a famous person, and she did not even ask for my autograph...

- Michael

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

Care Packages in the Heat of Afghanistan - Michael

I received a great care package from my sweetie and kids, today.  Unfortunately, the weather can play a significant role in the transportation of some items in a care packages.  The granola bars were great, the nuts were excellent, loved the shirt, the watch battery put me back on schedule, but the whoppers took a beating from the elements.  I was so looking forward to them, too.

Thanks y'all.  We will get some whoppers when I get home.  :)

Love you,
Dad, Michael

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

A Sign and a Label - Michael

Went out running the other day and found this sign out by the main entrance to the camp.


It took a little looking and thinking, but I believe it is trying to tell folks that if they support the poppy growing industry, they are bringing flaming skulls of death to their country, but if they support legitimate crops like wheat, their children will be able to eat bread with their mouths open.  Just a rough guess.

This label struck me as a bit, hmmm, alarming, bothersome, humorous...  All my life I thought the fact that toilet paper was "clean" was a given.  I am not so sure that is the case out here.  I guess you learn something new everyday. 

-Michael

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

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Twenty Unique flavors xTwo


Twenty flavors of ice cream at the mall - Green Tea, Adzuki (bean), Sweet potato.... 


Ice cream crepes at Baskin Robbins - do they have these in America? I'd not seen them before. 20  days - anyone can do 20.....


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

ANGELS ON ALERT!

Thank you JESUS for your mercy and protective grace!!!!


I nearly splatted a pedestrian on our outing today. I was driving along a rather busy road "highway like" - route 102.....about 60 kph....and on my right someone was swerving into my lane (common). I had to swerve....my focus was on THAT...and I failed to note, from my left an old gentleman had started across the street. I looked up, swerved back into the oncoming lane, and missed him.  Arielle said she saw him casually walking, wondered if I saw, saw him notice our foreign license plate and there was a moment when he panicked.....but I noted him JUST IN TIME. Shew!


So.....other than THAT.... a good day. Always fun to join together with the body of Christ.  Brunch with a deployment buddy and her sons. What am I going to do when I'm no longer a deployment widow....


We dropped Jared at home and the rest of us headed to.....

Towada Horse Park - met up with our neighbors......Before we met them, we explored the MUSEUM.....it's big.....and we found things that interested us...it was free for all under high school....and I got to try my Japanese out....all in all....FUN. 


These are STIRRUPS.....

Mother of Pear inlaid saddle....see the dragon flies....

When they all go interested in a clip I knew they didn't understand....I figured it was time to head for some outside activity. 





Michael, we can't wait to share this outing with you. Maybe the weather will hold out and we can do it when you're home. 


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

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Can you spot the mistake?


I was admiring the photography when I saw it.....


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

Twenty-One


Josiah, 21 years old and Lord of the Flames. Josiah is majoring in Business and Marketing at  Angelo State University . He's a "super Junior" this year. He'll be a Senior by next semester and will graduate in December 2011.  We miss you son.  


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

Today

Feeling a great need for an endorphin boost, I headed for the gym at 7:00 a.m. Yes, on SATURDAY.   I was getting there after an hour of sweat....but knew that a trip to Hirohata Onsen would ice the cake, so to speak.  WOW - did we have RAIN as I left the onsen. I had so much fun trying out my Japanese phrases (Good morning, Wow, rain....bad weather isn't it.....are you fine.....thank you very much"....that I stopped at our favorite bakery on the way home to try out my phrases again. LOL  Hey - I've been WAITING to be able to talk about the rain. ::snort:: 



From there I came home and we delivered a couple of baked items.  We tried out a new to us shopping spot.

Around 2:00 p.m. we realized we'd not had lunch...or some of us hadn't. We tried a restaurant that Akikosan had recommended. Unfortunately, the photo of our "rice burger" didn't turn out. It was good.

 We headed for Homac to find "stuff" for Prince Charming......yes, the frog has a name. Alas, we could find no live crickets....and I'm not sure where else to look around here....I'm not sure Japanese families keep pet frogs? The kids continue to hunt up insects. I wonder if he'd eat spiders? We have LOTS of live spiders.

I've been thinking a gold fish would ease the cravings for a pet around here....this was tempting but I wasn't sure if it was a fresh or salt water fish....is it a species or a gravely ill gold fish? 

No Crickets, but a new habitat for Prince Charming. 

I'm finding it increasingly hard to resist seeing if the old "put a frog in a pan and gradually raise the temp" thing is based in fact....but I wouldn't do that....not really....just makes one wonder when there's a frog above the kitchen sink. ::snort::

We're really, really tired. We're going to sleep early.....and we'll be ready to begin another week by Monday.

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

An Unwelcome Sight!



 Across our yard, over the fence, through the cabbage patch....see that blue speck? OUR SHED!

Arielle, Nolan, Zander and I were quite the sight for passing drivers who always seem curious to see what the Americans are up to. 


It was staked down. The plan now is to buy more stakes, stake it down again.....AND...get big bungee cords and run them over the top of the shed from one fence to the other......unless it blows to North Korea tonight. 

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~

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

Twenty-Two Noisemakers



As a whole, the Japanese people are reserved, quiet and polite...but the stores are often noisy.....there were far more than 22 machines in this grocery store...but here are 22 slot machines.


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

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Twenty-THREE.


Stalking mailboxes...I trained them well. Krista joins the countdown today in position 23. She is 23 years old and is also a senior at New Hope Christian College. She sent me a 21 too in case I forgot her age again. ::snort:: 

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

Very Random Thoughts

Wednesday - Three medical appointments for Jared. Skype with Mike. Discussions on how the travel arrangements for my upcoming trip to TX will go.  Bible study prep. Internet shopping for cheap tickets.  Gym. Emails with regional ladies for various projects. Jared is ill on top of all the other health things going on.   School. Mini-meltdown  - so much stress - God's got it. I just need to keep resting....rest....rest...rest...and let Him carry it. Made dinner. BED. 


Thursday - Tryst - worship in the Tent of Meeting. Gym.  Hit the 20 lbs down mark today - 40 more to go. One appointment for Jared. 


"Rest, De'Etta....I've got it." That's right, sweet Jesus, thank you for the reminder. 


Regional Skype. God on the move - the enemy's been defeated...gonna lift our voice in victory....gonna make your praises our loud....shout onto God with the voice of triumph...we lift Your name up!  Oops - where WAS I?  Radiologist was trying to reach me all day via the chapel. Our phone reception is the PITS out here. Seems that Jared needs another immediate ultrasound....tomorrow. Three appointments for Jared tomorrow. He jokes he should move in to the clinic. I offer to pitch a tent for him. ::snort::  Handled a variety of PWOC things.  No school today. Didn't meet with my MOPS play group today as I simply couldn't do anything which wasn't "essential". ::sigh::  No school today - WAIT TABLE SCHOOL and Stacia DID Bake Brownies for Benji and the B family.....Twenty-four days...maybe I can crawl away to a cabin in the woods with a nearby onsen.....in 25 days....


"Rest, De'Etta. Do you trust Me?" yeeeesss, yes, YES - I do.  That's right.....YOU'VE GOT THIS. NOTHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN IN OUR HOME, JARED'S HEALTH, OUR SCHOOLING, ASIA REGION  that will SURPRISE YOU...You know when Michael will be home...and You know that more than Michael I need to enter into Your REST.....I'll rest. I will.  The "to do" list will wait for tomorrow. Tonight, I will worship and lean back as a child whose fussed herself out and REST. 




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

Twenty Four Brownies


Baked for Benji and the Beasley family.  (It was so messy cutting them that we made another pan to take to the Beasleys and will just eat those mangled ones ourselves). LOL 



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

Twenty-four Freshly Harvested boxes of cabbage?

I thought there were 24 boxes of harvested cabbage in the field over our fence. 

But when I got the photo take there are 33....oops - still hunting for 24.....but....


Look what they brought me.....we've been smiling and "konichiwa ing" and "ogenkidesu ing" for months across the fence. They like to see me hanging my laundry - go figure. I think they get a kick out of the thing blowing over. 


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

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Twenty-Five


BreAnne, the girl who made us parents 25 years ago, joins our countdown today. Bre is a Senior this year at New Hope Christian College


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

My New Chaplain Assistant - Michael

I have had the privilege of working with two absolutely outstanding Chaplain Assistants.  You have seen SSgt B in a number of blog entries.  He went back to his family almost a month ago.  His replacement is SSgt C.  By all indications, SSgt C is every bit the hard-working, get-it-done kind of a person as SSgt B.  On a deployment, it just does not get any better than this.

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

More Backyard Construction - Michael

My backyard is definitely changing.  It is becoming the new home for a whole lot of folks.  The concrete slab is done; conex's will be coming soon.



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

Twenty-six Phonetic Readers


Zander's had a hard time learning to read...but slow and steady...right? We're enjoying this set of books. 


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


I didn't make it to the gym. I'm trying to work out how to do this on Tuesdays. I can't go to the gym, drive back out here and make it back to the base by 8:30...... but Bible study was good....lots of great ladies to meet...lots of new ladies....


While at Bible study - before - I heard that Jared's physical therapy appt was moved up to tomorrow. He also has a kidney ultrasound and blood pressure reading tomorrow....AND I received a call that he was ill. Please pray that he is well enough for these appointments tomorrow. 


We came home and did a bit of "stuff"....then I took Arielle back to the base for Middle School Drama (I love typing that - always reminds me of Deja and our jokes).  I had planned to go to the gym but was feeling a great need for ISOLATION - time to be alone and SILENT...and so I crept into the conference room with my journals and Bible and enjoyed 90 minutes of bliss.

We made a quick run to the commissary.

As I cooked Zander and Nolan kept chasing flies and talking about bugs.....hmmmmm?

When I was looking for a "26" photo.....I found this.... mystery solved. He looks so cute in my entry way.


NOW - what in the world do we do to keep him alive? The kids are totally excited to have a pet and say it's not as good as a Beagle or Siba but until Dad remembers to vote on a puppy.......how could I say no to such a diversion? ::snort::

Arielle and I are going to go watch Mrs. Potter.


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

Monday, September 20, 2010

Off and Running

School

The girls and I went up to the farmer's markets (produce market) nearby. We got the very last oranges...and found no lettuce...but scored some bananas right off the tree. ::snort:: You take what you can. During the drive we saw that they are harvesting the rice across from us.



We raced out of here to make it to the clinic for Jared's first "5 in a row" blood pressure reading. They didn't TELL us there were certain hours for this....we'll start tomorrow. The receptionist INSISTS it doesn't have to be five in a row. He said we can do four this week and one next week.

Jared turned in his football jerseys and pads.


I dropped the younger 3 off at Mary's to play with Jon. I picked up Mary's girls and we headed to the chapel for Human Video Team Practice, Bible Study and PYOC. Eleven women showing up on a Monday night - that's a God thing.

Home and baking muffins for PWOC Bible study tomorrow. Our study group is responsible for the brunchy stuff and the devotional.


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